Foreign Affairs | Influencing the EU on issues relating to the vulnerability of refugees
To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs the extent to which he can directly, through the EU and/or UN, influence colleagues throughout Europe and the developed world aware of the vulnerability of refugees, particularly women and children, who are very often at the mercy of traffickers, warlords and others; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
Ireland maintains a consistent focus internationally on issues relating to refugees and displaced persons. We raise these issues in UN and EU meetings, highlighting in particular the plight of the most vulnerable, including women and children.
We fully support EU efforts to adopt a comprehensive approach to migration, including through resettlement and increased legal pathways for migration, addressing root causes of forced migration and reforming the Common European Asylum System. We welcome the current emphasis on external aspects of migration, including work on co-operation and mutually beneficial partnerships with countries of origin and transit which are key to preventing irregular migration.
The United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) is mandated to lead and coordinate the international response to the assistance and protection needs of refugees. Its 2023 Global Appeal estimates the number of refugees internationally at 117 million, an increase of some 14 million people since last year.
Ireland has a strategically important partnership with UNHCR. Our support of over €25 million in 2022 included €10.5 million for core funding for the agency. We also provided funding for UNHCR’s response to specific crises, in Jordan, Ethiopia, Venezuela, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Uganda, Tanzania and Ukraine. In December 2022 Ireland pledged to provide a minimum of €22 million to support UNHCR’s work with refugees in the coming year.
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